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IGNOU BECE 145 Solved Assignment 2022-23
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Submission Date :
- 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
- 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).
Answer all the questions.
A. Long Answer Questions (word limit-500 words)
1) Discuss the trends in the ‘sectoral growth/changes’ in India over the period 1951-2019.
The following points highlight the changes that have taken place in the Indian economy after 1951. The changes are grouped into: 1. Quantitative Changes 2. Qualitative Changes.
1. Quantitative Changes:
i. Rising trend of National Income and per Capita Income:
Economic growth of any country is measured by the increase in national and per capita output.
During the plan period, national income of the country has certainly gone up. In 1950- 51, net national product at factor cost or national income (at 1999-2000 prices) stood at Rs. 2,06,493 crore. It rose to Rs. 27,60,325 crore in 2007-08 (at 1999- 2000 prices).
This means that between 1950-51 and 2007-08 national income grew at the compound rate of 4.7 percent per annum.
Compared to the pre-independence figure, this is really remarkable. However, the performance of the Indian economy in this direction in the 1980s, 1990s was certainly praiseworthy since it recorded a growth rate of more than 6 p.c. p.a. GDP growth rate in the 2000s is unprecedented.
It rose from 5.8 p.c. in 2001-02 to 9.2 p.c. in 2006-07. If the present trend continues, the country will be able to achieve a double digit growth rate within one or two years.
However, the better measure of economic development is the per capita income. Per capita NNP rose to Rs 24,256 in 2007- 08 (at 1999-2000 prices) as against Rs 6,122 of 1950-51 at 1999-2000 prices. This means that during this period, compound annual growth rate of net per capita income rose by 2.5 p.c. p.a.
Historically, it exhibits a better growth rate. Yet, it is inadequate compared to the needs of the country. The only encouraging aspect is that it shows a rising trend.
ii. Increase in Agricultural and Industrial Output:
Over the plan period, Indian economy experienced a higher growth rate in agriculture as well as in industry. Pre-plan period recorded an agricultural growth rate of 0.3 p.c. while the plan period showed a growth rate of 2.66 p.a. Performance of the industrial sector is certainly a better one.
During the plan period, 1950-2007, the overall achievement in this sector is more than 4.8 p.c. Trend growth of India’s exports shows Indian agricultural and industry on the move.
2. Qualitative Changes or Structural Changes:
During the plan period, not only economic growth picked up, but also economic development i.e., ‘growth plus change’ occurred in India. This amounts to saying that the Indian economy witnessed structural changes.
By economic structure we mean interrelationship among the different productive sectors i.e., agriculture and allied activities (known as the primary sector), manufacturing and industries (called the secondary sector), and trade and services (or the tertiary sector).
At a low level of economic development, one finds predominance of the primary sector. The predominance of any sector can be viewed from the sectoral composition of national income and occupational structure. When, in an economy, primary sector is considered as the predominant one then it means that the contribution of this sector towards national income is the largest.
Not only this, the bulk of the population derives their livelihood from this sector.
On the other hand, in the sectoral composition of national income as well as in the occupational pattern, the importance of the secondary and tertiary sectors gets reduced. As economic development proceeds, the interrelationships among these sectors undergo a change.
As economic development takes place, the primary sector (from the standpoint of sectoral composition of national income and occupational pattern) loses its importance and secondary as well as tertiary sectors gain in importance. Thus, structural changes indicate economic development. This is what Colin Clark hypothesized.
We will see whether structural changes have taken place in India during the Plan Period:
i. Sectoral Composition of National Income:
In 1950-51, the contribution of the primary sector towards India’s gross domestic product or GDP was nearly 55.9 p.c., while it was 14.9 p.c. for the secondary sector-Since then there has been a steady decline in the share of the primary sector in GDP and it declined to 19.4 p.c. in 2007-08.
On the other hand, over the plan period, as the industrial sector expanded, its contribution to GDP has been on the rise and it rose to 25 p.c. in 2007-08.
Along with the growth of the secondary sector, the services sector also registered a higher growth rate. In 2007-08, its contribution was 55.7 p.c. Thus, it is clear that as economic development took place during the last five decades of planning, the primary sector lost its pre-eminence, as against 29.2 p.c. in 1950. This, of course, is a sign of economic development.
One can make a better analysis of structural changes if the entire period is divided in the following sub-periods, as shown in Table 12.3:
The GDP growth rate between 1950-51 and 1979-80 came to be known as ‘Hindu rate of Growth’ of 3.5 p.c. p.a. But this long-term trend has been broken and in 2006-07 GDP growth rate went past 9 p.c. p.a. along with the rising growth trend of especially service sector and then industry sector. But primary sector’s performance is rather unsatisfactory in the current year.
It is clear that despite the green revolution in agriculture, the share of the primary sector to GDP has been continuously declining. However, between 1980-81 and 1991-92, primary sector displayed a better growth rate. Variation in the performance of agriculture is always worth noticing.
In the last three or four years, because of good monsoon, agricultural growth rate was remarkable, but in the year 2007-08, its performance has slackened in a larger degree.
Further, the secondary and tertiary sectors are continuously growing at a double rate than that of the primary sector during the first decades. In the subsequent periods, the tertiary sector outstripped the growth of the secondary sector.
Unfortunately, between 1990-91 and 2007-08, there has been a fall in the growth of the secondary sector from 25.2 p.c. to 24.9 p.c. Thus, the pattern of structural changes that has taken place in India has deviated from developed economies.
Present growth trend is dominated by the services sector. Very aptly, it is called service-led growth. But what we see in India is the ‘excess growth of the service sector’. Possibly, India may display a new paradigm of development.
Another important aspect of sectoral composition of national income is the contribution of the public sector towards GDP. As time progresses, the contribution of this sector rises. In 1970-71, the public sector contributed 14.9 p.c. towards GDP, but it rose to 24 p.c. in 2001-02.
However, following the introduction of new economic policy in 1991, the contribution of public sector enterprises towards GDP is on the decline. Their share in GDP at market prices declined from 11.68 p.c. in 2004-05 to 11.12 p.c. in 2005-06.
Finally, one can notice a structural change by studying the contribution of the commodity sector and non-commodity or service sector in net national product. Between 1950-51 and 1976- 77, the rate of growth of the services sector (4.90 p.c.) was satisfactory as compared to the growth of the commodity sector (2.90 p.c.).
Furthermore, between 1980-81 and 1995-96, growth rate of the commodity sector came to 5.30 p.c., while that of the services sector rose to 6.50 p.c. Same story has been repeated for the period 1991 -2008.
Expansion of the tertiary sector is tantamount to modernisation. Yet, we must say that the growth of the services sector at the expense of the commodity sector is undesirable. Though sectoral composition of national income itself indicates economic development, the growth of the service sector at the cost of the commodity sector reflects some sort of ‘structural retrogression’.
ii. Occupational Pattern:
In the light of structural change, one finds India’s occupational structure as a static one. But we know that as economic development takes place, occupational structure also undergoes a change. The Clark- Fisher thesis says that, in an expanding economy, employment situation shifts more and more in favour of secondary and tertiary sectors.
That is to say, the number of people engaged in the primary sector tend to decline while it tends to rise in the other two sectors.
This sort of change in the occupational structure indicates economic development. But, considering the development of the Indian economy in the last six decades, recently one finds some favourable change in the occupational structure of India. Throughout the 20th century, the percentage of people engaged in agriculture has not fallen appreciably.
Even in 2001, 57 p.c. of the total population were engaged in the primary sector, compared to 72.1 p.c. in 1951.
On the other hand, between 1951 and 1981, percentage of population engaged in the secondary sector increased marginally from 10.6 p.c. to 13.5 p.c. but it declined to 12.7 p.c. in 1991 and then rose to 17.5 p.c. in 2001. The only sector that showed a steady rise in employment is the tertiary sector. It rose from 17.3 p.c. in 1951 to 25.8 p.c. in 2000. This is shown in Table 12.4.
Thus, it is clear that the occupational pattern is not only a static one but also an unbalanced one. In view of this, V. K. R. V. Rao commented that India’s occupational structure exhibits ‘structural retrogression.’ This, of course, is not a healthy sign and it explains underdevelopment.
2) Discuss the importance of ‘Governance Indicators’ outlining its significance for development.
As governance indicators have proliferated in recent years, so has their use and the controversy that surrounds them. As more and more voices are pointing out, existing indicators – many of them developed and launched in the 1990s – have a number of flaws. This is particularly disquieting at a time when governance is at the very top of the development agenda.
Many questions of crucial importance to the development community – such as issues around the relationship between governance and (inclusive) growth, or about the effectiveness of aid in different contexts – are impossible to answer with confidence as long as we do not have good enough indicators, and hence data, on governance.
The litany of problems concerning existing governance indicators has been growing:
- Indicators produced by certain NGOs (e.g. the Heritage Foundation), but also by commercial risk rating agencies (such as the PRS Group), are biased towards particular types of policies, and consequently, the assessment of governance becomes mingled with the assessment of policy choices;
- Many indicators rely on surveys of business people (e.g. the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey). While they have important insights into governance challenges given their interaction with government bureaucracies, the views of other stakeholders are also important and remain underrepresented, as are concerns about governance of less relevance to the business community (e.g. civil and human rights);
- The other main methodology used are indicators produced by individuals or small groups of external experts – for example, the World Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA), Bertelsmann’s Transformation Index, and the French Development Agency’s Institutional Profiles. This entails the risk that different experts ‘feed’ on each other’s ratings; and the depth to which external raters are able to explore the dimensions they are rating can vary.
- Many of the underlying questions are rather imprecise or cannot be competently answered by respondents (be they individual experts rating an issue, or people responding to public opinion surveys). For example, the ICRG rating methodology acknowledges the different dimensions of corruption (bribes vs. patronage/favors-for-favors type of exchanges) but nonetheless assigns one overall number on the degree of corruption. The Bertelsmann Transformation Index asks experts to assign a rating to very broad questions such as: “are democratic institutions, including the administrative and judicial systems capable of performing?” The Public Expenditure & Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessments are a good contrasting example of a set of indicators that are specific as well as based on in-depth analysis.
- Some of the best known governance indicators (the World Bank Institute’s Governance Indicators/WGI, and Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index/CPI) are aggregates of indicators that already exist. This technique has been used to generate indicators with universal coverage when no universal primary data gathering effort was available. While the transparency about underlying indicators and aggregation methods have much improved in recent years, aggregate indicators obviously include the flaws of the underlying data. There are important issues with comparability over time as additional data sources are being added to generate the aggregate figures; and not least, the sharpness of focus and conceptual clarity is further muddled by the aggregation process.
Given the scarcity of (public) governance indicators in the mid-1990s, and the limited opportunity to fund work on such indicators at the time, the WGI and the CPI made very important contributions in raising the profile of governance issues and to looking at governance in a more systematic way. However, as the relative importance of governance to development thinking has grown, there is a need now to go a step further.
In light of the diagnosed flaws, some individuals and agencies oppose internationally comparable governance indicators on principle. But this amounts to giving up a potentially powerful tool for analysis and policy guidance.
Rather, we should focus on developing better indicators. No indicators, however scrupulously produced, will be perfect. An abstract and qualitative concept such as governance – and its various dimensions – will remain difficult to measure. However, improvements are possible, and better governance indicators would be an important global public good for development research and policy.
I propose that such indicators should be based on four key principles:
- A focus on primary data collection rather than aggregation;
- Ratings that are squarely focused on the most relevant concepts and questions from a development perspective;
- At least to some degree, ratings that are based on the views and perceptions of domestic stakeholders;
- Resources that are adequate to ensure that the ratings can be properly implemented and validated.
To generate such sets of governance indicators, development agencies should create a pool of funding (as they have done to assess the quality of Public Financial Management through PEFA assessments). Ideally, the actual task of designing and implementing the indicators should be given to an independent body – a university or independent think tank – to ensure wide credibility. This body could, in turn, be obliged to ensure transparency and accessibility of the resulting data. At least initially, existing governance indicators based on aggregations would most likely continue to be produced in parallel – and would, in fact, draw on the new primary data set(s).
Such an effort could include, or be combined with, sector and issue specific indicators, such as measuring the quality of the civil service, or of public investment spending. Specific indicators are needed to guide actual interventions, and to monitor progress in specific areas. This would help to support systematic and comparative lesson learning on many governance interventions – an aspect that has also been an important gap to date.
The international development community should act on these issues – and sooner rather than later – if it is serious about governance and its role in development processes. Building up data-sets of new indicators, and particularly the construction of time-series of such data, takes time – but it is an important investment to make.
B. Medium Answer Questions (word limit-250 words)
3) Analyse the growth in the National Income of India over the different plan periods.
4) Explain the trends in ‘demographic transition’ in India.
5) Outline the measures initiated to combat poverty in India during the post-2010 years
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C. Short Answer Questions (word limit 100 words)
6) Differentiate between the following.
(a) Absolute Poverty and Relative Poverty.
(b) Horizontal Inequality and Vertical Inequality.
(c) Physical and Social Infrastructure.
7) Write short notes on the following.
(b) Limitations of Per Capita Income.
(c) Social Progress Index and World Happiness Index
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